Understanding Your Residential Electricity Bill – Rate Schedules

By May 10, 2019 Solar Education

Are you the type of person just look at the bottom number on your electricity bill and submit a payment? Or perhaps you have once or twice look into each line of the bill and give up halfway through? Yes, and yes? Don’t worry, we will break down each line on your electricity bill to help you understand what they really stand for.Let’s start with the different type of Rate Schedules.

The Rate Schedules

You are able to find your rate schedule listed on your PGE bill. Depending on your rate schedule, you might be charged by Tiers or by Time Of Use.

Tier Rate Schedule

Tier Schedule has three pricing levels, Tier 1, Tier 2 and High Usage Surcharge. Here is how it works: Each month there is a baseline allowance of electricity consumption and it varies base on the location, heating source, and season. If the customer excess 100% of the baseline allowance, the extra energy consumption will be charged at a higher price than Tier 1, which falls into Tier 2.  And it will eventually fall into High Usage Surcharge if the energy consumption excess more than four times of the baseline allowance.

Time of Use Rate Schedule

Different than Tier Rate Schedule, the Time of Use Rate Schedule charges consumers depend on the time of the day they generate electricity. In our example below, the peak rate is at 0.23cents per watt whereas the off-peak rate is 0.21cents per watt. Furthermore, there are three types of TOU rate schedules, differentiate by the difference in peak and off-peak hours.

Here is one way to reduce your electricity bill: maximize your electricity usage during off-peak hours while consuming minimal electricity during peak hours (which are usually starting in the afternoon until 9PM depending on which type of TOU rate schedule).

Another way to reduce or even eliminate your electricity bill is to install solar panels for your property. Our government is encouraging homeowners to switch to green energy by offering 30%tax credit incentive, however, this will decrease at the end of 2020 and completely go away at the year of 2022. If you are worried about your electricity bill, it’s time to break out of the PGE increasing rates and generate your own electricity!

The above bill is a real data of the actual bill PGE charged for an account that is on the E-1 Residential rate schedule.

Elena Chen

Author Elena Chen

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